I strongly recommended that Harvard Business School choose as its new dean Jones Day Law Partner Mickey Pohl. It didn't. Instead, it ignored this wisdom and lifted from inside its teaching ranks a professor of organizational theory Nitin Nohria.
All B schools but especially Harvard need a crackerjack lawyer as leader. After all we are re-entering a period of litigation and regulation. Call it CounterCulture 2.0. Pohl, who brought home the gold for client Sherwin-Williams in the Rhode Island lead paint public nuisance litigation Download Statev.LeadIndustriesAssoc.,Inc., could have guided Harvard Business School through this coming upheaval. Just think the kind of tipping point the BP oil spill was. And if any more beef is recalled, our meat export business will sink.
In addition, Pohl has a global network, including Prince Charles. What a fundraising capability.
And, hey, everyone likes the guy. He could bring together the warring factions not only in the School but in all of business education. As we all know, that area is loaded with land-mines after the global financial meltdown.
Perhaps Dean Nohria will have the wisdom to hire Pohl on as a consultant. Incidentally, Pohl was the guiding vision in turning around my alma mater Seton Hill in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. When he was Chairman of the Board for Seton Hill, the institution moved into the big time - a major accomplishment for a small Catholic university in rural western PA.